Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Let My Nolan Go

It was reported last week that Christopher Nolan, director of "Batman Begins", "The Dark Knight", and the upcoming "The Dark Knight Rises" will no longer be involved with the Batman character after "The Dark Knight Rises". This includes the upcoming "Justice League" film.

It is on the record that "The Dark Knight" is my favorite movie of all time. I want you to remember that as you continue reading. If you forget along the way, please refer back to this to refresh your memory.

I think that this is a positive thing. Christopher Nolan's vision of the story of Batman is so unique and appropriate that it makes the movies enjoyable for both comic readers and non-comic readers. But, his movies give us an in depth look into the world of The Dark Knight. I don't think that would translate to the Justice League. We need a movie like The Avengers that showcases each character in a cohesive way.

Wouldn't it be great to have more Christopher Nolan Batman movies? Of course it would. Wouldn't it be great to have another director give us a fresh perspective on the world of Batman? Yes. Which leads me to my next point.

I accept Christopher Nolan's decision to step down from making films about Batman if, and only if, future films are not reboots. The origin of Batman is fascinating, but it's been done. Moreover, there are shelves and shelves of Batman stories that would blow your mind. If I was a filmmaker, I would focus on bringing one of those amazing stories to life.

Take "A Death in the Family", for example. Why not create a movie with the assumption that people know Batman's origins and tell the story of Batman's second Robin being murdered? I think current filmmakers feel like you need to start everyone at the beginning and build up to stories with multiple movies. Believe me, people remember, and if they don't, they'll do the research if it's good.

No one can sum this up better than Christopher Nolan himself. In an article at Entertainment Weekly, Nolan stated "The great thing about Batman is he lives on for future generations to reinterpret, and obviously, Warners will have to decide in the future what they’re going to do with him".

How can you argue with that?


  1. Cute idea, but they're rewriting the GI Joe movie because poor little Duke got killed in the opening moments of the film.

    They will never kill off a main character, especially a good guy, unless there's some sort of revival arc to go through. It seems like it's impossible to start a new story line with the finality of killing off ties to the old familiars in American cinema.

    Hell, even Jason Todd doesn't stay dead... Sup Red Hood?

    If it wasn't for the Nolan trilogy (the first half of Begins aside, it just takes too long), I'd have absolutely no faith in DC being able to make good live-action movies. Aside from Superman: Doomsday and Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, all of the DC animated movies have blown the majority of the live action films out of the water. Honestly, as much as I love Dark Knight, I'd put Justice League: Doom and Batman: Year One up against it.

    I agree, though, enough with the fucking reboots to keep licenses. Do we really need to see the Fantastic Four in a space ship hit by cosmic rays again? Do we need to see the cheesy slow motion strand of pearls hitting the wet ground again? How about that radioactive spider bite?

    There's got to be a way to maintain some continuity and tell different stories with the same, established characters, without 45 minutes going to the origin. Hell, comics have been doing it for 80 years, and I seem to think that's the benefit animated movies have. You can take them at face value: a one-off story with characters that you already know.

    I wonder if Quesada has a hand in the movie industry and just likes hitting the reset button wherever and whenever he can.

  2. Yes maybe "A Death in the Family" isn't the best example, but it gets my point across. Regardless of deaths, we should be able to see stories like that in movie form without, as you said, 45 minutes of origin. That 45 minutes focused on the story can make for an amazing film. All they need to do is put a little faith in the viewer. I'm telling you, a "Hush" movie would be the hugest comic book event ever.

  3. For comic readers, sure. I don't know that average movie-goers would read up on the intricacies of the Hush arc before going in and buying a ticket, though.

    Remember how there was that amazing animated Clone Wars by Gendy Tartakovsky that bridged the gap between Star Wars Episodes 2 and 3? And how only the nerdiest of nerds watched it and understood why Greivous was hunched over like a mook, and thought he was a total bitch?

    I think you can get away with it for animated films, because the core-audience is in tune with the related universe. Imagine if Solomon Grundy showed up in a Batman movie without some sort of back story? No one would know what was going on, and he's what I'd call a "popular" character.

    I mean, sure, spend half an hour showing his background instead of Batman's, at least it'd be more interesting. I dunno, I think the problem is that everyone wants to tell their own version of the story, and to the schlubs that go for a popcorn flick don't mind the lull in the beginning.

  4. Yes that I do agree with. Everyone wants to tell their version. But I say at the very least assume that the viewer would remember previous Batman films.

    I am happy that they're making animated films because I've been enjoying them. So for now, that's a good source for the real nerds that want more than the same old origin story.